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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Maple Leafs' Dave Bolland practicing, nearing return


By on 2/20/2014 04:00:00 PM

Dave Bolland practiced on Wednesday with the Maple Leafs - the first day teams were allowed to practice during the Olympic break - and appears to be very close to a return, according to the Toronto Star.

Bolland has been out of the Leafs lineup since November 2nd after a tendon in his ankle was sliced open by a skate blade.

Bolland practiced on a regular line with Troy Bodie and Mason Raymond and reportedly looked good on the ice. The Leafs return to action on February 27th against the New York Islanders, and if Bolland continues to practice without setback, there's a possibility that he could play in that game.
By Dave Abel/QMI Agency via slam.canoe.ca

For the Leafs, a Bolland return would allow them to get the third line that they envisioned at the beginning of the season back. Players like Jay McClement could fall back into more familiar roles, providing an injury-ravaged Leafs team with more depth.

With Leaf fans hoping for more than just a playoff birth this year, a Bolland return could mean big things for a team fighting for playoff positioning and hopefully avoiding the Boston Bruins in the first round.

Toronto currently holds the top spot in the Eastern Conference wildcard with 70 points, tied for third in the Atlantic division with the Montreal Canadiens and just one point back of Tampa Bay for second in the division.

Bolland has six goals and 10 points in 15 games this season and if he can return right after the Olympic break, the Leafs might be in store for a strong finish to the season.

You Can Follow Steven Tzemis on Twitter @StevieTz


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